Presented on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 in Historic Cowles Hall on the Elmira College Campus.
"Travelin' Man" looks into how Mark Twain's prodigious travels around his region, then the nation, then the world, have provided pleasure and scholarly thought for more than a century. Somewhat less appreciated has been the transformative effect Twain's lifelong appetite for exploration (move--move--Move!", he wrote in a letter to his family--) produced upon American literature, the legitimacy of common vernacular, and even the nation's final psychic break with Europe. Speaking (mostly) in sentences even shorter than the preceding, Powers will examine this divine compulsion that hastened America's literary Decelration of Independence.
Ron Powers is a Pultizer Prize- and Emmy Award-winning writer and critic. He is the author or co-author of more than a dozen books, including Flags of Our Fathers (2000), a New York Times #1 bestseller. He has written extensively on Mark Twain and his literature, including a biography, Mark Twain: A Life (2005), also a New York Times bestseller. His current book, No One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America (2017), has been named a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. It has also been named "Notable Book of the Year" by the Washington Post and one of the Top Ten Books of the year by People magazine.